Wednesday, Feb 25 2009
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
I've had two eureka moments over the past month or so. Well, the first is more of dawning realization than a revelation, but they both have been profound.
The dawning realization is that for the first time since my early teens, I like the way I look. And while I have lost the baby weight and am in fairly good shape in general, its more than the objective things. Its is as if I suddenly see my body in light of the fact that I worked hard for the past year with/on it, that it has withstood the overcoming of two unhealthy addictions, that it has conceived, carried, and birthed two babies. Yes there are strange lumps, and my breasts have suddenly changed sizes, but I see that less now that I would have a few years ago. Instead, I see my green eyes and my curvy shape, and at worst, I'm fine with it, and at best I'm happy with it.
The true eureka comes from the knowledge that my biology is likely to pick me up and slam me against the wall with its desire for another child. And I've been worrying for some time about how I would resist the urge - which sounds flippant, but isn't. I can't describe the degree to which I felt COMPELLED to get pregnant with both Will and Ellen. There was no fighting it. But, a family of four is so very much the right size for us that we both really think we need to stop at two children. I finally thought about the issue in context of what Will and Ellen have done to my heart. My heart breaks every day over them - with love, with frustration, with a total bouleversement of my being, of my soul. I have come to a place where the idea of living in a world without either of them literally, literally, literally knocks the wind out of me. And I simply cannot survive another love like that. The only voice my biology will to is that of my heart. And my heart says, "I can't take anymore love." I laughingly described what is actually a very serious thing for me, to Steve, as "My heart is already hurt in advance for when Will and Ellen are 25 and don't call me. I simply won't give birth to another child who turns 25 and won't call me!"
I took this thought further, though, and have begun to see my what I call my struggle with motherhood more in light of this passion that overwelms me, and less through the lense of my self-doubt and constant self-critcism. Of course I struggle with being a mother when the feelings are so intense, and when my husband and I have chosen a way of life that neither of us have seen first hand before. There is no question, I need to always 'watch' myself because of this level of intensity in my soul about who I am as a mother, but it feels as if I am slowly, almost begrudingly, forgiving myself for being me.
Why, why, why does it have to be this way? Why does it have to take 20 plus years to feel okay in my own skin? The unfairness of it make me cry.
And, oh, dear god, how do I save Ellen from this?